Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £27.99

Buy Now for £27.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

A story at once mythic and strikingly timely, Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall urges us to wonder how far we have come from the 'primitive minds' of our ancestors.  

Teenage Silvie is living in a remote Northumberland camp as an exercise in experimental archaeology. Her father is an abusive man, obsessed with recreating the discomfort, brutality and harshness of Iron Age life.  

Behind and ahead of Silvie's narrative is the story of a bog girl, a sacrifice, a woman killed by those closest to her, and as the hot summer builds to a terrifying climax, Silvie and the Bog girl are in ever more terrifying proximity.

©2012 Sam Millar (P)2018 Bolinda

What listeners say about Ghost Wall

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Could not put this one down!

A father obsessed with experiencing life as he perceives it should be; as our ancient ancestors lived. Insists his family embrace his perfect holiday with him, in an Iron Age archaeological camp. Reminded me of Kingsolvers excellent The Poisonwood Bible, Sarah Moss packs a hard hitting life was not a bed of roses back then punch with this short yet excellent novel. Funny at times with the illicit trips to Spar for chocolate however the novel doesnt hold back from its serious menacing undertones and bigotry. Not even four hours long so a more expensive credit read but so what! Its a good one!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unputdownable!

Unputdownable... if you know what I mean. I loved every minute of this fast-paced and beautifully written account of experimental Iron Age archaeology gone awry.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

3 hours of brilliance!

This is a slim novel and a brief 3 hour download, but apart from getting fewer hours listening for your download credit, this is superb. I reviewed Sarah Moss's Tidal Zone and Signs for Lost Children on my Audible Listening Page on 28/8/16 and 15/8/16 iwhere I said Moss 'is achieving acclaim fast'. She still is but deserves more mainstream attention. This is her 5th novel and is as powerful, delicately written and unforgettable as her previous work.

This one is set in Northumberland where Silvie is part of a small part of iron age reiinactors spending time in their iron age camp. The group includes Silvie's downtrodden mother, a few students and a fanatical professor all keen to create an iron age way of life foraging for roots and nuts, fondly imagining that they can create a totally authentic experience of the past. The most sinister member of the group is Silvie's father Bill who has taken time off from his bus driving to take part in this activity with which he is obsessed to the point of insanity. One of the students, Molly from England's comparative soft south, befriends Silvie. Part of the themes of the book is the North South divide expressed through Silvie and Molly, beautifully presented by the skillful narrator who conveys the chasm through accent without a trace of caricature, helped by Moss's use of northern words (clarty / keks) and syntax deftly woven into the narrative.

The core of the novel gathers pace as hints are to be gleaned about the relationships within Sivie's family, hints which are picked up by the more worldly Silvie ( who slips off to Spar to buy icecreams and biscuits which Sylvie doesn't dare to do). The buildup to the climax is frightening and the ending is almost explosive. But even the ending is not the end: the very last few moments leave you on yet another level of perception.

The whole is beautifully read and written with a rare awareness of the suggestions and economy of words.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great novella

This story was claustrophobic, intense and compelling. I was impressed by its brevity. Excellent narration too.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Teen Fiction ?

Somehow slightly naive, rather predictable. Maybe works as teen
fiction. It was not as interesting as I had anticipated.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A dark and compelling listen

This story was dark and very compelling. The setting was very well-described and I felt completely surrounded by the nature that was described. The character of Sylvie was likeable and my heart broke for her at the abuse she suffered from her father. I was glad for the character of Molly who cared for her as without her things could have felt very hopeless. There were a lot of interesting historical things described in the novel, but it was wanting to find out what happens for Sylvie that drove me to finish this in one sitting - at just under 4 hours it worked well, which I was glad of since I couldn't have beared it to have to wait to see if she was okay. I cried at the end and parts of it felt horrible, but that's due to the emotions it brought up rather than any issue with the novel itself. I thought it was read well and I enjoyed the northern accent which was lovely and warm.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric and engaging

This book was on my book club list and I don’t think I would have chosen it otherwise, but what a treat! Thoroughly researched and well written it was very compelling and different. The character of Sylvie’s dad and their relationship was fascinating though disturbing. The book is very well read by Christine Hewitt and I liked the music which added to the atmosphere. The book is short and it was over too quickly. Thoroughly recommend it and will be looking for more books by Sarah Moss.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

well worth the time

Really good storyline - different, intriguing and very well read. It pulled me in and the writing was poetic in parts.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hard to put down

Great story, of gathering momentum. Sarah Moss has become one of my favourite authors for her melding of current and past, with more than a hint of menace.

The narrator did a very good job, flipping from one accent/voice to another with ease. I’ll even forgive her pronouncing nuclear as newkyoolar.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Something rather special

I have vivid memories of archaeological fieldwork in the 60s, 70s and 80s - as the child of an attending adult, an undergraduate archaeology student and then as one of the staff running the summer schools. This could have been taken from my memories. Things have changed now, according to the academic archaeologist across from me - I hope so! I like to think I would have been Molly.